Downtown Christmas lights go up Nov. 14

Members of the Bluffton Volunteer Fire Department will string Main Street garlands on Saturday morning, Nov. 14, according to Fred Steiner, Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce executive director.

Steiner said that if a rain date is needed, the garlands will be strung on Saturday, Nov. 21, instead.

Main Street businesses need to place their garlands in front of their business early Saturday morning on Nov. 14 so that the fire department has access to them.

Other holiday "work days" include Saturday, Nov. 7. On that date, the electrical setup for the Blaze of Lights will go up on the Presbyterian Church lawn, according to Bev Amstutz of the Bluffton Cultural Affairs Committee.

The Blaze display will go up on Saturday, Nov. 14. The display lights will be turned on Saturday evening, Nov. 28. The lights will be lit nightly until Jan. 1. On Saturday, Jan. 9, the display will be removed for another season.

Changes to visitation policy

Beginning Thursday, October 22, Blanchard Valley Hospital and Bluffton Hospital will put a new visitation policy in place.

The new visitation policy is based on two (2) things: Officials want to protect their patients, visitors and associates from the spread of influenza before it becomes widespread. Also, in the last week, there have been an increased number of patients with flu-like symptoms coming into our emergency rooms and local physician offices.

The new visitation policy is consistent with preliminary recommendations from the Northwest Ohio Hospital Council is a group of 33 hospitals that works together to manage and coordinate a consistent response to regional health care incidents.

Visitation Limitations & Guidelines

Anyone who is sick is not permitted to visit patients.

Children 17 and younger are not permitted to visit patients.

Patients are limited to two (2) visitors at a time.

Outpatient areas (with patients not being admitted to the hospital) will be limited to visitors essential to transportation needs and the emotional well-being of the patient. Children 17 and under are not permitted to accompany patients to testing sites or waiting room areas.

After 9:00 p.m., we're asking visitors to stay home so their family/friends who are patients can rest and heal. However, limited visitation privileges will be granted based on the patient's medical needs.

All visitors should perform hand hygiene before and after visiting patients and wear personal protective equipment (such as face masks) when necessary.

The Bridge Hospice Care Center, the inpatient hospice unit at Blanchard Valley Hospital, is an exception to this policy.


Blanchard Valley Hospital & Bluffton Hospital have had no inpatients with confirmed H1N1 Influenza (as of 10:30 a.m. on 10.20.09).

If you think you have the flu (seasonal or H1N1), don't go to the emergency department or your doctor's office for a test. If you go to the ED or your doctor's office, the test (no matter what result) won't change how you are treated for flu-like symptoms. In addition, it is best to stay home to avoid passing germs around to other people.

CR goes PINK to fight for the cure

Employees, community members and students of Cory-Rawson Local Schools went Passionately Pink for the cure to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer Friday, October 16th.

Pink is the recognized color for breast cancer awareness. C-R community members wore pink because they have all been touched by the lives of others that have, or have had breast cancer of some type of cancer.

During lunch the week of October 13th through 16th, students were able to purchase a ribbon in honor or memory of someone they know who has been faced with breast cancer or any other type of cancer. With the ribbons they made a chain in the front entrance so that others could see their support for this cause.

Jennifer Stillings, 7th and 8th grade math teacher, is the head of all things pink at C-R. Mrs. Stillings lost a loved one to breast cancer and is now passionate to find a cure. She has set the C-R goal at $500 and made over $200 in just the first three days of the collection. Donations are still being collected at C-R Middle School. In return for your contribution, donors will receive a Passionately Pink for the Cure collector's lapel pin and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to promote a world without breast cancer.

"We will absolutely repeat this project again next year. This is an important topic that touches so many of us," said Mrs. Stillings. C-R Middle School would like to say thanks in advance for all of the help and for all who fought breast cancer by going Passionately Pink for the Cure on Friday, October 16th, 2009!

To contribute online, please go to and click 'Give Now'.

Down the Riley Canal boat style

Two years of hard work paid off earlier this month as two Bluffton friends launched their canal boat for the first time.

Lynn Miller and Don Brubaker built a wooden thirty-foot canal boat to motor around canals in New York and Canada. The boat is equipped with living quarters for them and their wives to live comfortably for weeks at a time while cruising through various canals.

If all goes well in the coming voyages, the Millers and the Brubakers plan to ship the boat to Europe and explore the many rivers, lakes and canals available there.

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